Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
McCain - Will he learn the necessary lessons quickly enough?
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, May 03, 2008

Many are taking the following quote of John McCain as an indication that one of the primary motivations for Iraq was oil.
At the conclusion of a town hall held this morning outside in Denver, McCain decided to toss in a plug for his upcoming energy policy rollout. But in the midst of decrying the dangers of Americans reliance on foreign oil, McCain seemed to suggest that this reliance caused the current struggle in Iraq.

"My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will — that will then prevent us — that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East,” McCain said.
If Iraq was the only "conflict" in the "Middle East" to which our young men and women had been committed he'd have a point, but it seems to me we've been committing young men and women to combat there for years. I seem to remember Operation Earnest Will in 1987 followed a few years later by the invasion of Kuwait. Both operations were, in part, to secure the vital oil supply to the West.

So one could say all of our operations within the ME have been, in part, to ensure the oil supply line to the West stayed open. That is a legitimate national security issue for which the use of force, if necessary, is certainly an equally legitimate option.

But that's an entirely different thing than saying the war for Iraq was for oil.

McCain attempted to clarify his comments later in the day:
The expected GOP nominee sought to clarify his comments later, after his campaign plane landed in Phoenix. He said he didn't mean the U.S. went to war in Iraq five years ago over oil.

"No, no, I was talking about that we had fought the Gulf War for several reasons," McCain told reporters.

One reason was Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, he said. "But also we didn't want him to have control over the oil, and that part of the world is critical to us because of our dependency on foreign oil, and it's more important than any other part of the world," he said.

"If the word `again' was misconstrued, I want us to remove our dependency on foreign oil for national security reasons, and that's all I mean," McCain said.

"The Congressional Record is very clear: I said we went to war in Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction," he said.
This is a rather poor explanation, although I understand his point. A) while he mentions it, he doesn't include Kuwait in his broad statement about sending "young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East" - another example of his point. B) WMD were only one of many reasons that we went to war with Iraq, and you'd think McCain would be smart enough to point to them in addition to WMD.

It is performances like this by McCain which tend to reinforce my belief that even if the Dem nominee enters the race as badly damaged goods, McCain will find a way to screw up even worse. Just as neither Obama or Clinton have been under this level of scrutiny before, neither has McCain. His previous abortive presidential runs ended before the real political proctological exam could begin. And he's benefited to this point by the slug-fest that is the Dem primary - it's kept him out of the limelight somewhat. But that is now changing as the DNC and MoveOn take aim.

For him to win, it may depend on how quickly he learns the lessons necessary to avoid sticking his foot in his mouth on a regular basis.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
McCain, Republicans in general, and supporters of the war in general could advance their interests a great deal if they would merely recall the actual authorization for the use force. (One place the document is published is here http://www.c-span.org/resources/pdf/hjres114.pdf .) Nowhere in that document is oil, energy or petroleum even mentioned.

The rational given in the AUMF includes:

++ Iraq’s noncompliance with the conditions of the 1991 cease fire, including interference with weapons inspectors.
++ Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, and programs to develop such weapons, posed a "threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region."
++ Iraq’s "brutal repression of its civilian population."
++ Iraq’s "capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people".
++ Iraq’s hostility towards the United States as demonstrated by the alleged 1993 assassination attempt of former President George H. W. Bush, and firing on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones following the 1991 Gulf War.
++ Members of al-Qaeda were "known to be in Iraq."
++ Iraq’s "continu[ing] to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations," including anti-United States terrorist organizations.
++ The efforts by the Congress and the President to fight terrorists, including the September 11th, 2001 terrorists and those who aided or harbored them.
++ The authorization by the Constitution and the Congress for the President to fight anti-United States terrorism.
++ Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Saddam Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement.

(Above copied from the Wikipedia summary.)

Now, if any politician signed onto the resolution without really believing what it stood for, let that politician say so now. If any politician thought the AUMF was just a pretext for securing supplies of oil, let him or her say so now.

Those signees who say it was always about oil either have short memories, or are admitting to their insincerity at the time it was signed.

But at the time, I think those who signed onto it (77% of the Senate, 68% of the House) believed it. Many of those same Senators also signed the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998.


—-John Johnson



 
Written By: John Johnson
URL: http://johnson.johnson.jon
If oil was the reason we went to war, then we might consider the Iraq war a failure. Of course that wasn’t the reason.

But remember when liberals were critical, saying we’d done exactly that?

As it stands we now have the Democrats in congress making legislation to get their hands on Iraq’s oil, under the guise of ’payment’ for our helping to reconstruct Iraq. I wasn’t aware that humanitarian efforts were cash and carry, first off, and secondly, tell me again, who is after Iraq’s oil.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
...tell me again, who is after Iraq’s oil.
It reminds me a bit of the 2004 draft episode. The Democrats started talking about how horrible it was that we might get a draft, and then a couple of Democrats introduced the bill into Congress to re-institute the draft.

That was an utterly transparent piece of disingenuous propaganda. Nevertheless, it worked so well with their base that I won money betting against several naifs who were utterly convinced that if Bush were re-elected, a draft would follow within a few months.

So, based on that episode, the Democrats probably think they can easily get away with the "No Blood for Oil" and "Let’s Take Their Oil Right Now" contradictory positions. Anything bad about the whole thing just gets blamed on those dastardly Republicans.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
That was an utterly transparent piece of disingenuous propaganda.
Yup. But he’s got to be able to avoid self-inflicted wounds by understanding what the mines are and where the minefields are located.
So, based on that episode, the Democrats probably think they can easily get away with the "No Blood for Oil" and "Let’s Take Their Oil Right Now" contradictory positions.
Absolutely. And they also know that a certain portion of the population, who’re not paying very close attention, will buy into it. I expect a competent presidential candidate to be able, for the most part, to avoid handing their opposition ammunition, and I’m just not sure (or I should say, I’m not confident at this juncture that) McCain is that competent.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I grant that McCain’s handling of this could be better, (as yu know I’m among the last to defend the man) but to what end? What difference would it make in the end? Frankly, I’m not sure it matters, Bruce.

No matter what happens, as Billy says, the Republicans are going to get the blame for it. That’s the advantage having a constituency of short memories; You can play both sides of an issue, and never get into trouble doing it, and no matter what happens, you can blame the party opposite.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
McCain would/will be a terrible president, yet better than the two alternatives. There’s no point in pretending otherwise. If the Democrats dumped both Obama and Clinton (which would be justified) and replaced them with an Evan Bayh/Harold Ford Jr. ticket, I would be tempted to vote for it rather than McCain, if only in recognition of the Democrats desire to right their garbage barge.

As for oil, the oil markets despite their various distortions supply that much more efficiently and more cheaply than if we wanted to "steal" it. Our military business in the Middle East, insofar as it involves oil, has to do with what oil money can do for and to criminal regimes. Hussein was dangerous because he had vast oil revenue, not because he wouldn’t sell us the oil at market value. Same for the Iranians.

The Islamist terrorist impulses, on the other hand, may or may not be present without the oil money. Who knows? The American experience with the core of the Islamic world dates back to the Barbary Wars, so we know that there was something happening with respect to the troubles of that world before the first oil well was drilled in the Middle East.

The vast holdings in that region of an essential commodity might only have exacerbated a pre-existing condition. I don’t think that Bernard Lewis would necessarily disagree with that.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I grant that McCain’s handling of this could be better, (as yu know I’m among the last to defend the man) but to what end? What difference would it make in the end?
I’m not sure what ’end’ you’re talking about. My point was if McCain doesn’t want to spend his campaign trying to clarify what he said previously, he needs to be sharper about how he answers questions. Or said another way, he needs to do a better job of denying political ammunition to his adversaries.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I WISH oil was the reason.

then I wouldn’t be paying 4 bucks a gallon
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
I still don’t understand one thing......why is "war for oil" nowadays considered a bad reason for going to war? Throughout history, nations have gone to war to secure vital sources of supply.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Because anything that helps Amerikkka is Bad, shark. Look no further.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
"For him to win, it may depend on how quickly he learns the lessons necessary to avoid sticking his foot in his mouth on a regular basis."

If he hasn’t learned by now, I don’t hold out much hope of his learning in the next year. It’s not like he is new to this process.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I’m not sure what ’end’ you’re talking about. My point was if McCain doesn’t want to spend his campaign trying to clarify what he said previously, he needs to be sharper about how he answers questions.
OK, and why? Is he not going to be a target of the Democrats if he does so?

Don’t misunderstand me, now... I agree with you, and wish he would be a bit more careful on this stuff. But I guess I’m being a little sarcastic, here, and suggesting that regardless of him being more careful, or not, the Democrats are going to be playing this kind of game, where no matter what he says, they’ll be on the attack and taking the opposite side of it, regardless of the position they take being directly contradictory to ones they’ve taken just a short while ago.





 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
As for oil, the oil markets despite their various distortions supply that much more efficiently and more cheaply than if we wanted to "steal" it.
Ya know, Martin, I’ve been thinking about that, too. It occurs to me that the charge that we went to war in Iraq for oil is a tacit admission on the part of the Democrats that it’s easier to go to war halfway around the world, than it is to get the Gaia worshipers here at home out of the way of those who want to drill for oil here in our own backyard.

Of course it’s only partially true, but there it is.
(Chuckle)

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
OK, and why? Is he not going to be a target of the Democrats if he does so?
For the reason I gave which you neglected to include.

"... he needs to do a better job of denying political ammunition to his adversaries."

As you point out, they’re going to come up with enough of their own. He doesn’t need to help.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
For the reason I gave which you neglected to include.
"... he needs to do a better job of denying political ammunition to his adversaries."

As you point out, they’re going to come up with enough of their own. He doesn’t need to help.
Quite correct, and I think you under-estimate me; I didn’t miss it, it’s my point as well.

I guess I’m just looking at it from the other side of the coin; If they’re going to have ammo either way, what difference does it make?





 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I guess I’m just looking at it from the other side of the coin; If they’re going to have ammo either way, what difference does it make?
Well I guess if you can’t figure out the difference between having them make stuff up (the affair with the lobbyist - easily refuted) and handing them stuff (the quote in question they’ll now use against him in his own words), I can’t help you.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
McCain made a Kinsley gaffe. Of course we are in the ME because of oil. Duh.

Even Shark gets it.

McCain is whacked. He is past retirement age. He is obviously suffering from PTSD. He couldn’t tell the difference between a Shia and a Sunni if his life depeneded on it. Frankly, he’s delusional.

And he still hasn’t released his medical records. Four times he has promised to release them, only to delay them. He’s a liar. Worse, he has had the kind of cancer that recurs and that can affect the brain.

McCain’s larger problem is that he is a cheerleader for a failed policy in Iraq. Turning Iraq over to Iranian-backed thugs? Yah - that’s a winning campaign strategy.

So is launching missles into civillian neighborhoods - especially next to hospitals.

Bottom line: If you think invading and occupying Iraq in order to turn it over to Iranian backed thugs was a good idea, vote McCain. Otherwise, vote Obama.

My guess? McCain has a nervous breakdown by October.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Mkultra. Is that really pseudonym for Scott Erb? Same muddled logic based on unsubstantiated data and notions packed into memory by the American education system.

Al Sadr’s Mahdi army is not doing well these days. They were tolerated to protect Shiites from the Sunni government. Now, the government is Shia and more importantly, the Army is Shia.

When Maliki took on Moktada Al Sadr, the Sunni and Kurdish politicians moved toward national reconciliation. Finally, the reason for the surge - to give parties time to form a stable national government - is having the desired effect.

Iran’s influence in Iraq has been damaged by Al Sadr’s militia. Sending the army into the streets at Iran’s request, has painted him as an Iranian puppet. The two countries fought a bloody war from 1980 to 1988 that killed a million people and maimed many more. Poison gas - a WMD - was delivered in Teheran by IRBMs and mustard gas artillery rounds were used against Iranian trenches. Iraqis are not going accept a theocratic regime like the one in Teheran nor will they surrender their sovereignty to the Persians.

As for collateral damage, the militiamen are always "civilians". Al Sadr has a history of using ambulances to move troops and fighters. There is no evidence that the munitions that caused "civilian" injuries were IA or American. Damage to the hospital was limited to broken windows. Note that this NY Times report was posted by a stringer named "Tareq Mahir."

It is a war crime to use civilians or hospitals as shields. Combatants are required to evacuate civilians and refrain from fighting from hospitals, schools or religious structures. Of course, the Mahdi army does not comply with the Hague or Geneva Conventions.

The strategy McCain supporting is much more reasoned than cut and run tactic proposed by Barack Hussein Obama. Then, McCain did not take campaign contributions from Tony Rezko with links to Saddam Hussein.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
Well I guess if you can’t figure out the difference between having them make stuff up (the affair with the lobbyist - easily refuted) and handing them stuff (the quote in question they’ll now use against him in his own words), I can’t help you.
I think you’re missing the irony here. Since when has the truth been an important element in the attacks of Democrats? An attack on the kind of verbal foul-up McCain made here, isn’t based in truth either, as you point out.
He is obviously suffering from PTSD
And your excuse would be.... what, exactly?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Arch, you obviously have no clue about what you are talking about. Maliki is Iran’s b*tch. If you don’e understand that, you don’t know jack. Sh*t, he lived there during the Iran-Iraq war. His political party was founded in Iran.

Like most wingnuts - you know, the kind that gave Iran arms in the 80’s - you are clearly a lover of the Iranian mullahs.

What the hell happened to the right wing? They used to care about the US.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Maliki is Iran’s b*tch. If you don’e understand that, you don’t know jack. Sh*t, he lived there during the Iran-Iraq war. His political party was founded in Iran.
The late Ayotollah Khohmeni lived in France during much of the Shah’s reign, did that make Khohmeni France’s b*tch?

Saddam Hussein lived in, I think it was Egypt, during a period of exile from Iraq? Did that make Hussein Egypt’s b*tch?

Ba’athism was founded by two Arab intellectuals who were living in France and who admired the Nazis.

Maliki taking refuge in Iran doesn’t make him an Iranian b*tch, anymore than one of the other Iraqi exiles living in the UK makes him a Brit b*tch.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
MK lives in the states. Which makes hi George Bush’s B!+c#.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Now, if any politician signed onto the resolution without really believing what it stood for, let that politician say so now.
I believe he just did.

Those rationales sure look tattered these days, don’t they?

They were tolerated to protect Shiites from the Sunni government.
Uhhh... Arch, what Sunni government are you talking about?

 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
macromesentery plutocratic pinnular avicennia triorthogonal protopodial trichostema iapygii Alan-Peters Group
http://www.efpu.hr/
 
Written By: Hazel Small
URL: http://www.newark.gov.uk/

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider